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HBO Max’s “Not So Pretty” Shines Light on the Link Between Mesothelioma and Cosmetic Products

Unfortunately, despite asbestos awareness advocates doing their best to educate people on asbestos and asbestos-related illnesses, such as mesothelioma, many people still do not understand the dangers of asbestos exposure. People are still mishandling asbestos and using asbestos-contaminated products. For example, people continue to use asbestos-contaminated cosmetic products. It is our hope that now that the dangers of using asbestos-contaminated cosmetic products have been revealed through HBO Max’s documentary, “Not So Pretty,”  things will change.

HBO Max’s Multi-part Documentary Airs Out the Link Between Mesothelioma and Cosmetic Products

The documentary “Not So Pretty” is a four-part investigative expose of the beauty industry. The documentary, produced by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, exposes the secrets of the cosmetics and personal care industries. Unfortunately, these two industries are loosely regulated, with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration having little power to enforce changes.

The first episode of “Not So Pretty,” titled “Makeup,” highlights the issue of asbestos in talcum-based products, including Claire’s makeup kits and Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder. The episode “Makeup” introduced individuals who developed mesothelioma after using asbestos-contaminated products.

The first episode includes a profile of a makeup fanatic, Corrin Ortillo, who developed mesothelioma after years of using products she believes contained asbestos-contaminated talc. Corrin used makeup her entire life, even made a career out of it, and used a lot of baby powder. She was diagnosed with mesothelioma in her 20s.

The episode also includes the story of a former OBGYN who developed mesothelioma after using Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder for a long time.

Additionally, included in the first episode of “Not So Pretty” is the story of a mother who found asbestos in a Claire’s makeup palette that her daughter used.

Did Claire’s and Johnson & Johnson take any action after realizing that their products were harmful? Well, not at first. In fact, Not So Pretty’s two producers uncovered documents that show Johnson & Johnson knew about the content of their baby powder dating back to the early 1970s. Instead of seizing the sale of the baby powder, the company manipulated the government to allow them to self-regulate and made tests that purposely found no asbestos.

Why Cosmetic Products Have Asbestos-Contaminated Talc

If you look at your makeup products right now, you will likely find talc as one of the ingredients in a number of them. Talc is a common ingredient in finishing powders, powder compacts, foundations, eye shadows, creams, and blushes. This is because it creates a soft, silky texture, acts as a filler, and dilutes pigmented products.

Unfortunately, since asbestos and talc form together, when talc is mined, it may have some asbestos in it. This is especially true if the talc mined is for commercial uses, meaning it is mined in large quantities.

Indeed, manufacturers do not purposely add asbestos to cosmetic products. However, companies are required to test their talc for asbestos before putting it into their products. Unfortunately, because there is a lack of regulation around cosmetic-grade talc, companies seem to be getting away with not conducting the tests.

Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyers           

If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.



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